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Mining slurry technology for treating industrial wastewater

a miner inspecting flood water levels in an underground mine

Huge volume of water is used during mining operations, and as metals are processed this water becomes contaminated. Mining wastewater is often highly acidic, and if not dealt with properly it can lead to groundwater contamination and acid runoff from drainage, which can have a devastating impact the local environment and watercourses.

Mining wastewater can be treated with pH adjuster chemicals to control excess acidity, or flocculants and coagulants that make contaminants clump together so that they are easier to remove. Sludge dewatering entails removing any excess water from sludge using mining slurry pumps to create a solid waste so that it can be more easily managed, transported and disposed of.

Mining slurry pumps

There are many self-priming mining slurry pumps and centrifugal pumps on the market. Choosing the right mining slurry pump is not just about finding the most effective product, as mining rarely has one-size-fits-all solutions. With different pumps being required for different applications across a mine, it is a challenge in itself to find the most suitable solutions.

Carroll Technologies has more than 40 years of experiencing helping its customers at more than 800 US mines build a dewatering system that works best for their mine. In collaboration with Equipment Pro, industry-leaders in mining pumping solutions, Carroll supports customers to find mining slurry pumps best suited for the application.

Mining slurry pump manufacturers

With an impressive portfolio of field-proven rugged vertical turbine pumps that have been used to pump slurry across US mines, Equipment Pro designs, retrofits and builds complete mining slurry pump facilities.

Reducing the environmental impact of mining facilities is a key priority, so Equipment Pro offers its no-seal pump that features a unique pressure break area and slinger, which confines leakage to the area below the discharge head. Not only does this eliminate the potential for fluid contamination, it also means that no external lubricants are needed as all bearings and parts are lubricated by the fluid being pumped.

Purchasing mining slurry pumps through a trusted distributor such as Carroll not only means that customers benefit from expert advice, but training is offered for a number of Carroll’s products to ensure that operators are up-to-date and pumping systems are running as they should.

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MSHA powered-haulage regulations: All you need to know

Honeywell mine safety product solutions

What are the new MSHA safety regulations on powered haulage?

The Mine Safety and Health Administration, Department of Labor (MSHA) has published the final rule regarding the Safety Program for Surface Mobile Equipment, which will be effective as of January 19, 2024. The rule summary states that “mine operators develop, implement, and update, periodically or when necessary, a written safety program for surface mobile equipment (excluding belt conveyors) at surface mines and surface areas of underground mines. The written safety program must be developed and updated with input from miners and their representatives. The written safety program must include actions mine operators will take to identify hazards and risks to reduce accidents, injuries, and fatalities related to surface mobile equipment. The final rule offers mine operators flexibility to devise a safety program that is appropriate for their specific mining conditions and operations.

In September 2022, MSHA proposed a safety program rule as part of several steps to reduce injuries involving surface mobile equipment.

Rule 86 FR 50496 would improve the safe usage of mobile and powered-haulage equipment at surface mines and surface areas of underground mines by requiring mine operators that employ six or more miners to design a written safety program. Programs would include actions to identify hazards, with MSHA also encouraging the provision of training that covers risk identification and mitigation.

The original deadline for comments was November 8, 2021.

Comments were supportive, with opinions differing on whether the weight of safety programs should focus on technologies (such as proximity detectors) or behavioral and cultural changes.

Most commenters noted that the application of engineering controls or technologies such as collision avoidance systems needs further review by MSHA and the National Institute for Occupational before any regulatory changes are made. This includes acknowledging that the issues MSHA raised vary at different mines and with different types of equipment, so it is critical to understand how specific hazards at a mine would be addressed through new technologies. Additionally, commenters emphasise the importance of communicating with stakeholders and miners.

A mining coalition commented that comprehensive safety programs are essential, with or with new technology, because human factors are a major contributor to accidents. It also noted that programs perform better when mine operators develop and implement their own safety programs.

MSHA reopened the rulemaking record for public comments and held a virtual public hearing on the proposed rule on Jan 11, 2022. The comment period was extended until February 11.

When do the MSHA safety regulations on powered haulage come into force?

The rule will come into effect as of January 19, 2024, and mine operators will need to meet the requirements of the proposed rule six months after the effective date of the final rule. This means that mine operators have until July 17, 2024 which is when the compliance date has been set for.

Who is affected by the MSHA safety regulations on power haulage?

All US mines that employ six or more miners will be required to submit a written safety program for surface mobile equipment that includes four types of actions that operators would take to reduce accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

What should you do to ensure you are compliant with the new MSHA safety regulations on powered haulage?

Powered haulage safety guidance provided by MSHA outlines best practices for improving visibility, communication, traffic management, seat belt use, dumping practices, equipment guards, working around belt conveyors and crossover safety.

According to Carroll Technologies president, Allen Haywood: “Designing a safety program could include things such as designated areas, as well as warnings of equipment and personnel being active, possibly with the use signage. There are different ways that each operation can come up with a plan to help the safety aspect of collisions with personnel or equipment.”

How can Carroll Technologies Group help?

Through Carroll Technologies, customers can be supplied with a wide range of MSHA-certified or intrinsically safe machinery and safety solutions designed to prevent accidents, injuries and fatalities. The solutions we provide can be tailored to our customer’s specific requirements, no matter how big or small. We provide everything from cones and safety signage, cameras, proximity detectors and warning sensors, to complete collision avoidance systems. Other safety solutions are also available through Carroll Technologies, such as underground communications, lighting solutionsMSA multi gas detectionMPS hard hats, and Miner and Equipment Tracking Systems (METS) and more.

Carroll Technologies Group provides a full suite of technical mining training courses, including comprehensive training courses for all of the major products in its portfolio. Staff are introduced to safe work practices and precautionary techniques with materials and guidance provided by MSHA itself.

Our mining hazards and risks resource may help to assist with the identification of potential safety issues and available solutions to combat them.

If you still have questions or require assistance with your safety program, we can help you to identify safety risks and recommend necessary solutions. Get in touch via our chat feature on the website or by using the contact form. We’re always quick to respond and will be very happy to help.

Latest safety announcements from MSHA

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Industry-leading MSHA cordless mining light: Polaris NLT vs WISDOM lights

Atmospheric Monitoring Devices & Equipment for Mining

NLT Polaris: The best MSHA approved cordless mining light

The Polaris lamp is the most used cordless cap lamp in mines across the globe, outstripping its competition both in terms of light output and total runtime, boasting an output of 7,000 LUX, a runtime of 14 hours for the primary LED, and seven days for the secondary LED. Northern Lights Technologies has paved the way with mining lighting innovation, advancing on its Polaris model by incorporating proximity and tracking tags to develop the NLT Genesis.

The rugged, award-winning Polaris cap lamp headpiece is IP67-rated for use in harsh and dangerous environments such as mines and tunnels. As the first MSHA-approved all-in-one cordless cap lamp on the market, NLT has proven itself to be an industry leader with its expanding range of rugged cap lights, including the second-generation Genesis cap lamp with integrated tracking tags, as well as the Rebel cap light that provides five hours of constant high beam light or 20 hours at medium output.

NLT Vs WISDOM: trusting the experts

WISDOM provides a number of corded and cordless cap lights, but it is the Wise Lite that is MSHA-approved for use in mines. While it works well as an all-in-one lighting solution, the Polaris remains more widely used.

With more than 40 years of experience providing mining safety, electronic, lighting and communication solutions to US mines, Carroll Technologies has studied the market to bring its customers the best of the best.

According to Carroll Technologies president Allen Haywood. “We’ve been supplying the NLT cap lights for many years. It is the highest quality cap light in comparison to the others on the market, and there is a lot of competition. We are a service center and stock repair parts for NLT products, so they are much a better value for the customer in the long term.”

The NLT Polaris, Rebel and Genesis cap lights are available through Carroll Technologies’ online mining store:

  • Polaris cap light (both adjustable and fixed clip)
  • Rebel cap light (both adjustable and fixed clip)
  • Genesis cap light (call 606-573-1000 for a customized cap light with tracking tags)

Visit Carroll’s online Mining Shop for more NLT products, including chargers, adapters and mounting clips.